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Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to Read KJV Bible over Holy Week

LONDON (RNS/ENInews) William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre will mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with a cover-to-cover reading between Palm Sunday and Easter Monday.

Twenty actors will take part in the reading, which is scheduled to take 69 hours over eight days. They will recite all 1,189 chapters of the historic Bible in the theater built as a replica of the place that saw many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.

“Four hundred years ago, a set of church scholars sat in Stationer’s Hall by St. Paul’s Cathedral and put the finishing touches to the King James Bible. Across the river, a set of playwrights, Shakespeare foremost amongst them, entertained a town,” artistic director Dominic Dromgoole told ENInews.

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“The playwrights listened to the clerics in church, the clerics sneaked in to listen to the plays in the theater. Between the two of them they generated an energy, a fire and wit in the English language.”

The theater’s 2011 season will also include the story of the creation of the King James Bible in the play “Anne Boleyn,” by Howard Brenton. The story looks at the legacy of King Henry VIII’s second wife, who conspires with the exiled William Tyndale to make England Protestant forever.

Starting 70 years after her death, the play examines how King James united England’s religious factions with a common Bible, and the debt he owed to Anne.

- JO SIEDLECKA, Religion News Service

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    The language in that version is, IMO, more beautiful than the newer ones. The “King’s English” was smoother. Too bad I’m not in England so I could listen to some of it. Quite a project.

  • http://bit.ly/kj400 NuWine Press

    Should Christian Gays celebrate the 400th Birthday of the King James Bible? See article url.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    Old parlor trick: Go to the KJV of the 46th Psalm. Count 46 words down from the top and 46 words up from the bottom and find the true translator of the KJV (who happened to be 46 years old when the Blble was published).

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    If I could find my old Bible, I’d do that, YN. Sounds neat.

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